Celtic's laundry woman Angie Thomson fondly remembered
CELTIC’S beloved laundry woman for over 30 years Angie Thomson, who passed away on Monday, was the “bones of the club” and a “shoulder to cry on”, says former players Diarmuid O’Carroll and Gerard Lyttle.
Both O’Carroll and Lyttle were among the Celtic community devastated by the news that Angie (61) had lost her long battle with cancer earlier this week.
Ex-players Chris Sutton, John Hartson, Paddy McCourt and Craig Burley also paid tributes on social media.
Lyttle made his dream move to Celtic as a teenager in 1994 where he spent five years while O’Carroll was at Parkhead between 2003 to ’08.
Both men ended up at Cliftonville together – Lyttle as coach and O’Carroll as striker.
“The last time I saw Angie was when Cliftonville played Celtic in the Champions League ,” said Lyttle.
“I called in and it was as if nothing had changed, a big hug and a smile. She was the life and soul of the place. People like Angie, for me, are really under-estimated in clubs like Celtic because they’ve a big part to play – and they don’t even realise it.
“They’re doing their own work but sometimes they were a shoulder to cry on too.
Lyttle credited the hugely popular Glasgow native for helping him overcome homesickness in his early years at Celtic.
“Angie changed for no-one - whether you were Pierre van Hooijdonk or Gerard Lyttle - everyone was treated equally.
“Her banter was brilliant but she was also really good for advice, especially when I was young going across to Celtic. I was homesick and she would have put the arm around you and mothered you.
Lyttle added: “At that time the young players were big into their duties: looking after the kit, cleaning boots, cleaning the changing rooms. And if you were in charge of the kit you were with Angie every day. She just had a great personality. She was working class but she didn’t care who you were, you were treated the same.”
Angie became friends with many of the players and former Celtic winger Joe Miller organised a special tribute night in 2017 to mark her 30 years at the club, where Celtic fanatic and rocker Rod Stewart serenaded her via video link.
The club’s official website paid its condolences to their former employee and friend.
“She was just a lovely woman,” said O’Carroll.
“She was the same way with everybody. I saw Darren O’Dea describe her as a counsellor. She was somebody who you could talk to. She kind of looked out for all the young players.
As part of the club’s education programme for young players between the ages of 16 and 18, cooking courses were mandatory.
“I never told Angie this but I never liked any desserts or cakes, so I’d run down to Angie with a Madeira cake or whatever we’d just made to butter her up. She always looked after me.”
Like Lyttle, O’Carroll stressed the importance of people like Angie and their role at big clubs.
“Sometimes when you look at clubs from the outside the predominant roles are big names but if you look at behind-the-scenes footage of any club there is always a masseur, a physio or a kit-man, somebody who has been there for 20-25 years.
“It’s people like that who live and breathe the club and they pass it on through the generations.
“No matter how much money comes in and how much money goes out they are the core of any club; they are there for the people.
“Clubs become more commercial but Angie was the bones of Celtic, the bricks and mortar. If you don’t look after people like that then you lose your identity completely."
O’Carroll added: “Angie and John Clark, a legendary Celtic player who became the kit-man, were like the mother and father of the club.”